Facebook Posts on Alleged Stalking at Sioux Falls Mall Go Viral

The posts describe encounters with what appears to be the same man hanging out in and around the Empire Mall. From our sister station, KDLT Reporter Jill Johnson has more from Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, SD — We’ve dealt with this the metro area and now several people are sharing a warning in the Sioux Falls area on Facebook.

The posts describe encounters with what appears to be the same man hanging out in and around the Empire Mall.

“I had a really, really bad feeling about it,” said Taelyn Phillips.

Phillips said she was at the Empire Mall on Wednesday when she noticed a well-dressed man wearing yellow sunglasses and carrying a Macy’s bag staring at her.

When she walked past him, he continued staring until she went into a store.

“That little voice in the back of my head told me to go into a store and just wait and make sure everything was all clear before you know, I came out,” Phillips said.

She said it kept her up at night.

She then began to see Facebook posts about other incidents near the mall, describing who appears to be the same man.

One woman said a man carrying a wrinkly Macy’s bag in the mall parking lot asked her daughter for directions, and then a ride.

Another women said a man with the same bag *got into her car at a gas station, also begging for a ride.

That’s when Phillips decided to post her own warning.

It’s gotten more than 800 shares and hundreds of comments.

“I think awareness is so important and this is something that people should know about so I posted that on Facebook just to let people know that this is something that’s happening, you know, travel with somebody,” she said. “Trust your gut, I guess.”

Phillips thought her encounter wasn’t enough to contact police, but authorities said no matter how small, mall security or police should be their first call.

“Nobody has called the police department about what happened, so it makes it difficult for us to, number one believe that it occurred and number two, try to figure out what’s going on,” said Captain Loren McManus, who is with the Sioux Falls Police Department.

If someone does confront you, police say you should do what Phillips did.

Get to a place where there’s a lot of people or to your car so you can lock the door and call police.